The Secret to the Best Fried Eggs of My Life? The Freezer.

updated Jul 27, 2020
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three fried eggs on plate
Credit: Amber Gibson

At Winslow’s Table in St. Louis, the egg yolk on their buttermilk biscuit sandwich is otherworldly — it’s like an egg pudding drenched in cheese sauce, cascading over a craggy biscuit. I’d never had an egg yolk with this texture before; it was a super-rich equilibrium between liquid and solid. So, I went ahead and asked chef Michael Gallina for his secret, and he was happy to share: He freezes his eggs before frying.

Here’s what he does: He freezes a carton of eggs in their shells for a minimum of 48 hours, and then lets them thaw overnight in the refrigerator before he uses them. The white becomes loose and fries up as you’d expect, but the yolk turns to a gel-like texture that Gallina calls “egg butter.”

Credit: Amber Gibson

A Note About Freezing Eggs

I’d heard that freezing eggs in their shell may cause them to explode (so try this trick with caution), but I didn’t experience this personally. Also note that the shells may crack as the eggs thaw in the fridge. If you’re worried about this, a slightly more complicated option is to mix the eggs together and then freeze them in ice cube trays, although you won’t get the exact same experience (it won’t be a fried egg, to start).

Here’s What Happened When I Tried This at Home

When I tried this at home, I froze a half-dozen eggs. One of them developed a fairly significant crack when it was in the freezer, so I did not use that egg. There was an obvious difference when I prepared the eggs — the frozen yolk is a dense, thick mass and may appear like it’s still frozen when you start cooking in the skillet. But don’t panic: Fry until the egg whites begin to set, then add butter and baste to slightly crisp up the edges and warm the yolk.

The end result is this perfect medium between a sunny-side-up egg and an over-easy egg. It’s creamy without being runny, and you don’t even need to flip the egg since it sets from the freezing and thawing process. I’ll definitely be making these again.

Please note that, as with any runny yolk preparation — like fried eggs or carbonara — there is a small risk of eating undercooked eggs. Please read more about that risk from USDA.